I’ve been leading our house church for a few months now. I’ve meant to post my notes on our midweek lessons each week, but have forgotten to. We have our midweek lessons in our house churches (just smaller groups, arranged mostly by geography) most weeks, meeting as a churhc once a month. These are my notes, sometimes more readable than others and usually not delivered presicely in htis format, but close.
This is from last night, I’ll post others from past weeks as time goes on.
I’m not talking about dreams you have at night like the ones interpreted by Daniel and Joseph or prophesy like visions of the future, but goals and passions. What is it that drives you? What get’s you excited, worked up, angry?
Tell me about some of your past dreams. Dreams that came true, didn’t come true or dreams that you still hope will come true.
- Becoming a Car designer
- Owning Grampa’s Thunderbird Thunderbird
Dreaming is a habit of those who lead the way.
Men of God in the past were dreamers & visionaries. They, through God, saw needs and sought to fulfill them. Their dream propelled their ministry and their life.
Can you name some Biblical leaders and the dreams they had?
- Noah – An ark to save his family
- Joseph – Leading his family
- Moses – A free nation
- Joshua – Conquest of Canaan
- David – A defeated Goliath
- Nehemiah – A rebuilt temple
- Jesus – A people reconciled to God
- Peter – Spread the gospel
- Paul – A unified church, particularly Jew and Gentile
For none of these men were the dreams their idea. It seems that in every case, God put the dream on their hearts. For some, like David and Nehemiah, the dream grew naturally out of the relationship with God, for others like Moses and Paul, God had to be rather persuasive, but it was God putting it on their hearts.
Just as God put a dream on their hearts, I believe that God has a dream to put on your heart.
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
” ‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
Of all the scriptures of the OT, Peter used this one to launch the NT church. Though we are not commanded to dream and plan, but God had said that we, in these ‘last days’, would be dreamers and visionaries. Are we? Patrick Mead posted this thought provoking idea the yesterday: “When you die, as we all will, you can either fill a hole or leave it. Your choice.” If we live as dreamers, persuing God’s dream for us, when we leave this world, we will leave a hole behind that will not be easily filled.
I think one of our biggest mistakes in the past was letting men instead of God put dreams on our hearts. We were told that everyone’s dream was to be to evangelize the world or the church leader would declare what dream the church members should adopt. World evangelism is an important goal, and a corporate vision in the church is a good thing for us to be united on, but those may not align with the personal passion and vision that God has created for you.
The flip side can be when we try to make our dreams God’s. One night many months ago, I was stressed over many things that were happening in the church, I felt overwhelmed with the burden of communicating with our ministerwhat should be done in all of these areas, to make sure that they were all handled correctly (as if I alone had the right answers). As I was praying about these things, I asked God, what I was supposed to do? His response was, nothing, just give yourself to my people. These issues were real issues, & I may have opinions, but they mostly weren’t my problem to handle. I wanted to create my own dream and vision and adopt for myself all these grand plans and make a big difference. God said no, I have different plans for you, a different dream.
While we participate in the dreams of our church and house church, we should also look to God and petition Him about His personal dream for us. What is it that God is waiting for you to stop and listen to Him so He can place it on your heart? Are you too busy to hear Him?
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that if a dream is from God, it must be grand, on the scale of world evangelism, eliminating hunger or a church planting. It is more likely to be much smaller, but just important – for it is what God has called you to. Maybe it’s as simple as representing God in your school or workplace, preparing your kids to live in the world and getting them to heaven or just being a light of encouragement to those around you.
Let’s spend this week in prayer that God would put his dream for us on our hearts. And as we pray, let’s be listening for His direction more than we try to find answers. Next Wednesday let’s be ready to share what we’ve learned about God’s dream for us.